Cold Duck Salad With Zested Orange

This, my friends, will make your company stand up and applaud. What a rare experience to enjoy a duck anything. It is not on everyone’s bucket list, but it is worth it.


  • 1 whole duck (about 3 1/2 – 4 lbs.)
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
  • 1 shallot
  • 4 garlic cloves,
  • 1 tbsp.  thyme
  • 1 tbsp.  sage
  • 2 large oranges
  • 2 4 oz. pkgs. alfalfa shoots
  • 1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained well and sliced

The day before stuff the cavity of the duck with the celery, onion andgarlic. Rub the thyme and sage into the skin.

Place in a roasting bag and make 5-6 slits to allow the steam to escape. Roast this in a 325 degree oven for about 2 hours. Roasting this slowly will allow it to remain moist.

Peel the oranges making sure to carefully remove the membrane along with the rind. With the peel from one orange, julienne into 1 1/2 inch strips. Blanch the strips in boiling water for 5 minutes. Reserve the 2nd orange.

Remove the duck from the oven and take out the celery and onion. Save the garlic and spread it like a soft butter over the duck. Put in the refrigerator to cool down.



  • 6 tbsp. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 tbsp. pecan oil
  • pinch of thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel

Whisk all the ingredient together until well blended. Refrigerate.


To Serve

Slice the duck in sand dollar size pieces. Slice the remaining orange. Pile the alfalfa shoots in the center of a plate and in the center of this, add the reserved orange peel. Arrange the duck and orange slices around the garnish,

Sprinkle the sliced water chestnuts and julienne strips of orange peel over the duck and orange slices. Drizzle the dressing all over and pour the remaining dressing into a pitcher (creamer) and serve separately for everyone to add more to their serving.


This should be served with a wonderful pasta dish of your choosing and dinner rolls.

Olives Three Ways – In Soup/snacks/Charcuterie Plate

The first recipe is great if stirred into a hot pasta dish or a tomato-based soup. You will think  you are in Provence. Serve with a glass of wine with crackers and a nice goat cheese if you want to use it as a snack.


#1 Olivata

  • 2  1/2 cups oil-cured black olives
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • caper berries for garnish

Firstly, soak the olives in ice cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Pit the olives.

In a food processor, chop together the olives, oil, vinegar, thyme and hot pepper flakes until pasty but still with texture. Scrape into a terrine. If adding to soup or pasta dishes,  all you need is a spoonful.


#2 Black Olives With Fennel and Orange

  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. coarsely grated orange zest
  • 4 tsp. orange juice
  • 4 drops hot pepper sauce
  • 1  1/2 cup black olives (oil cured)

Crush the coriander and fennel seeds. Combine the seeds, oil, orange zest, juice and hot sauce in a sealed jar and shake to coat.

Refrigerate for 24 hours – don’t cheat

This can be made a week in advance, but be sure to shake it gently at least once a day. Set out on a platter of cured meets, fruit and cheese. Crackers the side. Who could ask for more?

And now, the last one…


#3 Lime Scented Green Olives

These would make a great Hostess gift. Garnish with a slice of fresh lime and fresh thyme.

  • 1  1/4 cups green olives, with pits
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. grated lime rind (or to taste)
  • 3-4 drops hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1  1/2 cups cubed Feta cheese

Rinse the olives and pat dry with a paper towel. Slit the olives on both sides and put in a sealable jar.

Add the oil, thyme, lime zest, hot sauce and lime juice. Seal and shake gently to coat the olives and cheese.

Refrigerate for 24 hours.





Orange Croissant French Toast


A funny thing just happened. I have a cookbook that was printed back in 2009. In it are recipes that received the greatest number of kudos from guests and family alike. Don and I are doing a cooking class demonstration on Thursday and, you guessed, while preparing everything and, of course, sampling the fare before we go, Don said I should print off this recipe so everyone can follow through. Yea, I said….then I tried to find it. HA! I never did post it.

Here it is….it is an elegant, exceptionally fine cuisine and a real WOW factor.


  • 6 large eggs
  • 1  1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 – 3 tsp. Grand Marnier
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 4 croissants, one day old
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. Crisco oil
  • orange syrup (recipe follows)
  • 2 segmented oranges

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, Grand Marnier, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and zest in a medium bowl. Stir together the cream cheese and icing sugar in a small bowl.

Cut the croissant in half lengthwise and spread the outside bottom with cream cheese mixture and the outside top with the marmalade. Place back together (they will be inverted with cut side out) to seal. (they will look inside out)

Place the stuffed croissants in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour the egg mixture over them and soak for 5 minutes. Turn over and soak for another 5 minutes or until soaked through.

Heat 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. Crisco oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Fry each side until golden brown. Place on a wire rack and place in the oven while cooking the remaining croissants.

Wipe out the frypan and repeat with the oil, butter and croissants.


Orange Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Combine juice and cornstarch in a bowl and then mix into the sugar syrup. Simmer gently until thick. (About 6-8 minutes). Add butter and stir until it melts. Serve warm over the croissants.


Asparagus Orange Salad

Can you tell I’m getting ready for warm Spring/Summer weather so we can sit on the deck and enjoy eating outside… bet and here is a salad that bodes well.

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed of woody ends
  •  5 tbsp. olive oil
  •  1 orange bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  •  1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped (if you insist)
  •  pinch of salt and pepper
  •  2 tsp. sugar
  •  2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  •  2 large oranges, peeled and segmented, reserving the juice
  •  8 slices proscuitto
  •  4 thick slices focaccio bread
  •  1 garlic clove, halved
  •  4 bundles of Burrata cheese, quartered (the best you will EVER eat)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Steam the asparagus in an asparagus pot for about 4 minutes and cool down in cold water. Drain and set aside.

In a skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil, cook the pepper and onion for about 10 minutes until soft and just beginning to brown. Add the sugar and cook for 30 seconds longer. Add the vinegar and reserved orange juice. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and stir to mix. Set aside.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and place the proscuitto slices on them. Bake for 7 minutes until crisp and some of the fat has rendered off. Carefully transfer to paper towels.

Rub the focaccio bread with the garlic cloves, drizzle with olive oil and place in the skillet on medium heat. Toast until golden, 2 minutes per side.

Divide the asparagus and orange segments on 4 plates, top with the cheese, drizzle some vinaigtette over, place a couple of proscuitto on the side of the salad and add a slice of bread. Voila!

Waffles With Coconut Creme Anglaise

After being in Antwerp last month and devouring their waffles (ummmmm the best), here is a tasty one to put out on Sunday, or Monday, Wednesday….can you see where I am going with this? Any day is a good day.


Creme Anglaise

  • 1 x 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks

In a pot stir together the milk, cream and 1/4 cup of the sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat.

Whisk together the eggs and remaining sugar in a bowl until it becomes thick and pale in colour. Now, while whisking constantly, SLOWLY pour the hot milk mixture into the whipped egg mixture until well incorporated.

Pour this all back into the pot and cook gently over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.  Immediately take the pot off the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl.

Allow to cool in the refrigerator, stirring once in awhile. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Marinated Oranges

1/2 cup ribbons of fresh coconut or dried coconut ribbons

4 oranges, peeled and cut into segments

1 tbsp. Cointreau

Place the coconut on a parchment lined cookie sheet and baking, stirring only once until golden, 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool on the baking sheet.

Place orange segments in a bowl and stir in the Cointreau. Let marinate at room temperature while you now make your waffles.


Almond Waffles

  • 1 cup natural almonds, sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup crisco oil
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place almonds on parchment paper lined cookie sheet and, stirring occasionally, bake until they turn a golden colour. Let them cool down before placing in your blender,( saving 1/2 cup before grinding  and set aside) and pulse of a fine powder. Do not over process.

Preheat waffle iron as you normally would.

In a large bowl whisk together the almond powder, remaining 1/2 cup of the toasted sliced almonds, flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. In another bowl whisk together the oil, egg yolks, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the wet ingredients and stir together until just blended. Do not over-mix.

Beat egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peak form, about 2-3 minutes. Gently fold into the batter.

Cook waffles according to instructions of your machine.

To assemble, divide waffles among serving plates, top with the marinated oranges and sprinkle on the coconut ribbons. Serve the creme Anglais along side for your guests to help themselves.

Response: WOW and Yummy!



Orange Brittle For Ice Cream Splendor

Ic cream is ice cream….or is it? You can buy toppings or you can make your own and make it special. Try this and let me know how much you loved it.


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1  1/2 tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp. finely grated orange zest

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.

Cook the sugar in a skillet over moderate heat, without distrubing ,until it begins to melt. Stirring occasionally, continue to cook until it becomes a golden caramel.

Immediately remove from the heat,  quickly add the toasted fennel seeds and zest and then pour onto the tin foil spreading with the back of a spoon before it hardens.

Cool for about 5 minutes. Break into pieces (save some shards) and put the rest in the food processor until a coarse grind.

Scoop ice cream into a bowl, place a shard on the side and sprinkle some of the ground brittle over the top. If you wish a much crunchier brittle, just break into small pieces rather than put in the processor.

Enjoy! Summer is on its way.

Orange Macadamia Conserve

What a great time to make ahead all the conserves, butters, jams etc. Fruit is and will be available soon and with the recipes available, you are the winner (and so will your guests be).


  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 5 1/2 cups berry sugar
  • 1 -3 oz.pkg. fruit pectin (liquid)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped macadamia nuts (or pecans)

Peel the oranges, making sure to remove the pith from the peels. Cut the peel into thin strips and place them and the water in a large saucpan. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.  Cover and simmer for about 9-10 minutes.

Chop the fruit and, along with the cranberries and sugar, add to the water mixture.  Bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly.  Add the pectin and stir well. Boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add the nuts.  Put into sterilized jars and seal, making sure to wipe the rims and seal completely.

Store in a cool dark place.

Breakfast Orange Cups

What better way to get your Vitamin C… the standard orange juice by a mile.

  • 6 oranges
  • 1/2 cup berry sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (or more) Amaretto liqueur
  • Whipped cream
  • orange zest

Cut the top 1/4 of the orange off. Scoop out the juice and pulp and put into a saucepan.  To be fancy, cut a pattern in the top edge of the orange cup.  Discard any seeds or membrane, and set the cups aside.

Over medium heat, stir together the juice, pulp, sugar and cornstarch until it starts to boil. Add the Amaretto and cook, stirring constantly until it starts to thicken.

Pour equally into the shells and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.

Top each cup with sweetened whipped cream and top with a little zest and set a mint leaf in the cream..


Flavouring Butters

By flavouring butter,  you are able to enhance the food you are serving.  What I have here are three butters used for Breakfast fare such as pancakes or french toast etc. They can also be used for scones or muffins.


They are wonderful and I hope you will try them out. They all keep well in the refrigerator.


Orange Butter

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 2 tbsp. concentrated orange juice
  • 2 tsp. icing sugar
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

In a small bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until well blended.  Place in a covered container and keep in the refrigerator.


Honey Cinnamon Butter

  •  1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Beat all in a small bowl and place in a covered container in the refrigerator.

To change the flavours, you can opt out for nutmeg or ground ginger. All I can say is yum yum!

Nut Butter

I know there are allergies to nuts BUT my grandaughter has severe allergies but can eat almonds. So adjust any nut if you can avoid any problems. Try walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds.

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla

Blend in a small bowl, combine the butter and nuts. Blend in the sugar and vanilla.  Place in a covered container and keep in the refrigerator. This butter is soooo good with muffins and scones.